Don't Understand Beatbuddy

I’m a guitarist and purchased Beatbuddy because I naively thought that it would play the named premium songs from start to finish.
What I didn’t expect was when I load, say The Beatles ‘A Hard Days Night’ I am presented with the opening screen saying ‘Part 1/6’
I had thought that if I start the song BeatBuddy would play it from Part 1 through to Part 6 and then stop.
But it doesn’t. It plays Part 1 until I tell it to move on.
I’m a guitarist and just want a drum machine to play from beginning to end without stopping and without me having to concentrate on kicking the pedal when it gets to the end of a part. How do I know when to move to the next part? A drummer would know, and that’s what I thought BeatBuddy would know.
Either BB is totally useless for my needs, or I’ve missed something silly.
How do I do what I expect - ie just have a song play fully, from start to finish without my intervention?
It would have been cheaper to employ a drummer!

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Welcome to theBeat Buddy family!

There are a lot of one-press songs available ("OPxx), if you prefer that, and, with a MIDI editor you can easily combine the parts into an OPx. Personally, I prefer having the control, but you certainly have the option.

Thanks Joe, I did find some user generated files that work as I want.
It’s just that having forked out money for premium files, which to me are totally useless, I had hoped that they would as well.
I’m not a drummer - which is why I bought BeatBuddy. It’s fine for just selecting a beat and letting it play over and over, but I had expected more of songs produced by the company, at a price.
It’s a pity there isn’t an app that could play them?

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There is an app – it’s called a Beat Buddy! :slight_smile:

Just teasing. I understand what you’re looking for, and you’re not alone. In this case, I think maybe you needed to dig a bit deeper and ask the question before you shelled out your cash. But now that you’re here, are you familiar with any MIDI editing software? If not, I bet you could get some help here, either teaching you how to convert to OP songs or doing some of the work for you.

How many are you trying to convert?
Joe

Might be worth noting that the next version of the BBM will have the autopilot feature which will allow you to construct the one-press arrangements from the multi part songs like those premium beats, as well as the default content

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That sounds like exactly what I want.
I’m not holding my breath though - looking back through old posts the problem was highlighted in 2015.
Any idea when this new version with autopilot will be available?

Well it was in the recent 1.7 beta BBM so it’s there but it was other issues with that release that meant it was withdrawn. My opinion is that it will be in the next release but I have no idea when that will be.

For our Cover-Duo we have over 250 Beatbuddy-Songs. Most of them I reduced to Intro, 2 parts (mostly for verse and chorus), some fills, transitions and an outro. Like the songs which come with the beatbuddy. I bought the complete premium collection, and even with the songs coming from premium I did so. Nobody in the public cares about how perfect our background drum are. Just use two typical patterns and with holding down the transition, you get two more “parts”.
I find it more difficult to use complete running songs, because there is now way out if you make a mistake… you loose a lot flexibility the beatbuddy brings. If you need a playback player with drums and bass etc., look at an iPad App called Sweet Midi player. You can use free midi files and configure all midi instruments individually. You can install the Roland Sound Canvas for getting good results.

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Hi Ray,

I also don’t see the value of multi-part songs. When my music duo first got our BeatBuddy, one-press songs were not yet permitted due to file size constraints. I hated the multi-part beats, because if I accidentally missed a change during a live performance, it would often mess the whole song up for us, and we’d look like complete idiots. However, Singular Sound fixed this, and one-press songs were then permitted. I have no idea why premium packages would still contain multi-part songs. Unless you specifically want to randomly extend a guitar solo or something, I think multi-part songs are useless.

My duo and I now have about 100 one-press songs, and we love our BeatBuddy. Most of those songs were thrown together using a MIDI editor, either from scratch, or adapted MIDI songs that we find on the internet. I would highly recommend learning how to use a MIDI editor, as you can customize how your songs start and end, and you can even design a custom BeatBuddy drum kit to play synth parts and other non-drum sounds during your performances. Using a MIDI editor is easier than you might think. We’re all here to help if you have any questions.

I feel your frustration. someone in this forum(I don’t know who, sorry to the creator} made a program called beatbuilder and made it available for free download. simply put it takes midi tracks, isolates the drum tracks and reassigns the midi value to the beatbuddy format. you can then eliminate or add time to suit your preferences. it is simple to use and I just download free midi tracks from the internet , run them through beatbuilder and I have a one push song. I am 60 years old and have purchased midi programs and failed miserably at trying to create my own drum tracks. I am not a drummer and seriously suffer from techno shock. this beatbuilder program has allowed two old guys to be a rock trio. simple and easy. I hope this program is still available and I know that it is just what you are looking for. most of this forum is way over my head but the beat buddy is an awesome drummer if you can find beatbuilder. good luck and if anyone knows who created beatbuilder please thank them for me and if it is not still available maybe someone can recreate it.

I couldn’t agree more. As a solo keyboard player whose foot is already occupied with my sustain pedal, at the moment, I’m having to meticulously pre-record all my drum tracks into .WAV format on my Zoom audio recorder in order to play “live” on my Roland piano via its USB port. For fast songs with mixed time signatures of 4/4 and 6/4 (e.g. Chicago’s Feeling Stronger Every Day), these get reduced to a “common denominator” in the Premium library to 2/4 snippets which means you have to be really really good at the press-and-hold to transition to the next part at just the right moment. For some songs, I had to spend a good 3 hours studying the song to figure the drum parts, marking fills and transitions them in my sheet music, then trying to get the timing just right on a pre-recording of the drum package to my Zoom recorder. Very time-consuming and frustrating.

The owner of the Premium Library packages has assured me that he is working with Singular Sound to come out with a one-press solution. In my opinion, this is the my biggest need.

Interactive is fine for situations where you need to be interactive, jazzy bits with improvisation. But generally, I want to just play the song as per the original recording. And I’m busy enough on the keyboard that I don’t want to have to worry about hitting BB for a transition or a fill. I’m simply not that good to be able to do that.

Since I’m not a drummer, I simply do not fully comprehend the intricacies of the various parts and fills, and so, for example, I was not able to work out Queen’s “You’re my best friend”, and so I can’t add that to my repertoire.

Having said that, it is sometimes helpful to have the parts so that I can pre-record/mix a much reduced version or modified version of the song.

Back to One Press songs, it would be really helpful to be able to program a soft-click to songs which do not have a drum intro (most songs).

I know that Singular is looking at having an autopilot version of their Premium songs when that feature gets implemented, but it would be real nice if they just included a DOP one-press version, too.

I couldn’t disagree more. Driving the BB through its parts gives you control over the entire song. Something going over gangbusters? You can do an 8-minute version. Something falling flat on it’s face? AM-Radio version, here we come. OP songs don’t give you that luxury.

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I don’t use OP myself but I can understand that if you are going to perform a song live from start to finish to a specific arrangement then multipart songs add unnecessary complexity.

Completely agree – they’re two different use cases, and I actually do use both. I think both approaches are completely legit and useful.

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I couldn’t disagree more. Driving the BB through its parts gives you control over the entire song.

That’s all fine and dandy if you’re playing some loosey-goosey blues song, but most of the songs people play are well-known rock or pop songs, where it would make absolutely no sense to go back and randomly repeat a verse if you miss the transition. Why do you need “control” over a song that is going to have the exact same expected outcome every time? Is it to pretend for the audience that you’re somehow playing the BeatBuddy as an instrument? It is especially problematic when the other musician(s) don’t realize that you’ve missed the transition, and they keep on playing the next part of the song while you’re frantically trying to tell them what to do. I do have a couple of multi-part songs just so we can extend the solos, but those songs make up about 2% of our set list. Multi-part songs should only be optional, and certainly not the norm.

My goodness, where to start…?

Let’s start with this: I understand your use-case – I use it myself for a couple of songs in our list – but I cannot agree that the option (not the requirement, but the option) to manage songs on the fly is “useless.”

Do you consider Sweet Home Alabama a loosey-goosey blues song? Because that’s the first song we ever really leveraged this functionality for. Because we read the crowd – and the packed dance floor – and decided NOT to have the same expected outcome. I communicate my intentions to my bandmate to extend or shorten – or he does to me – or he sees it coming, because it turns out not to be that hard to read where something is going in most pop songs, and to follow-along.

Missing a transition is a different issue, and yes, we deal with it when it happens, but even that is hard not to notice and adjust to in most cases. And is often followed by the not-so-subtle pointing and laughing of my bandmate at me.

Multi-part songs ARE optional, but, for many of us, they ARE the norm. If OP is more your thing, there are lots of options for you (which I gather you already know about, because 98% of your set list is OP). But your perfectly valid choices in how you manage your drummer do not negate the value of the options the Beat Buddy gives us to manage our drummers the way we see fit. Multi-part is absolutely NOT a useless option.

And, quite frankly I AM playing the Beat Buddy as an instrument. That’s kind of the point.

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The whole purpose of BB is for live interaction. I already have MIDI back drums that follow about 2000 of my songs to a T. What I want as a solo artist is live interaction as I play my other instruments. I dig it. Although I understand it takes some learning but if anyone and everyone could do it …it probably wouldn’t be a thrill.

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Hi Paul!
THANK YOU for that post!
The Deaf Bunnys Band uses BB in place of a live drummer now and if we don’t support the product it will go away!
There is NOTHING like this on the market!
The thrill you talk about we call lightning in a bottle: EVERY take is unique! Way cooler that playing to a track.

ROKKON!!
Pete & Sheri Paznokas

The Deaf Bunnys Band
“Rock Hits from the Fifties to Today!”
267.333.6048 Pete’s cell
267.333.9214 Sheri’s cell
DeafBunnysBand@gmail.com

+1 on BB as a creative tool. I like to play my BB like an instrument, completely live, 100% spontaneous, and different or the same each time, as I please. Having the freedom and flexibility to repeat a chorus an extra time, add in as many or as few fills as I want, bring the drums in and out ad hoc for breakdowns and mashups, all at my feet is a live performing dream come true that I could never go back from.